Ella Mai, the renewed spirit of R & B

It is amazing how many things can be said of an artist who has such a short career, it is only a few years that they have passed and relatively few songs that she has published compared to the consecrated stars of the same genre and already captures the attention in many senses. What does this girl have? Is it really her undoubted capacity to sing the one that has made her sell all the locations of her tours? Is it the vision of DJ Mustard that has put her in everyone's eye? Is the great success of putting her to compose and sing with great figures on her debut album? Or is it the warrior spirit of a singer who does not surrender to adversity? We could say that it is all the above and end the text here, but it is very interesting to delve into each of the elements that have helped a star of these dimensions to emerge and that very soon will be placed among the greatest singers of R & B, for giving back to this musical genre a lot of what it has lost. That's what I like most about music, which I can investigate and go into the life of the artist to know in an integral way what surrounds his work. Because for me it is not only to appreciate what he did and how he did it but also to know why what happened has happened.


It is striking how many amateurs have the doors closed even though many have extraordinary talents and, in the case of Ella Mai, also has the academic preparation to demonstrate all her abilities when singing. Student of the British and Irish Modern Music Institute of London, she had the need to try her luck in the famous, but not for that reason prestigious show X Factor UK, in which she was accompanied by other girls who formed the band " Arize. " Surprisingly and as confirmation of the lies and little vision of the supposed experts who take on the role of "judges" in that show, the trio did not advance beyond the auditions. Is not this an aberration? Were they unable to see this star and hear everything she could give? Or it is simply that it was not in the plans of the production to do justice and, on the contrary, to put aside her talent to avoid her to shade the one they had already decided that would be the winner that year. They are reasonable doubts, I believe. Undoubtedly, we have to always think about the true intentions of these "talent" shows. In other occasions, when a duet or a band does not convince them at all, they separate them to leave just the one they think has the talent to sing or be part of another band, but in the case of Ella, it was not like that, unfair right? But fortunately, our artist did not give up and kept fighting to find the place that belongs to her. Like a warrior, she made use of new technologies that allow people to reach directly and without help from anyone. It is endearing to see Ella Mai's Instagram account and to realize how she published many of her performances with very poor-quality audio, but enough to realize her talent. She did it on Twitter, Facebook, SoundCloud and on all the social networks she could. It's like shouting: "Hey, here I am, do not you realize?" And after earning the affection and recognition of those who found her in cyberspace and began to follow and support her, the moment arrived that every aspiring singer: was discovered by someone who did appreciate the full potential of the singer: DJ Mustard.


Then, the material of the first album of Ella Mai was a series of collaborations with excellent composers and tracks were included where she shares credits in the interpretation with Chris Brown, John Legend and H.E.R., better impossible. The beauty of the songs, the excellent performances, and the good companions worked naturally, and the album has been a success and continues a tour that confirms her as one of the favorites of the moment. Ella Mai has mentioned many artists as her direct influence and, it strikes me that she does not mention Beyoncé since more than one song makes me remember her, but well, that may also sound obvious because of the tone of the voice of both singers and the gender that they interpret and, not necessarily because it is a direct influence for the artist. One of the themes that stand out for my taste is "Everything" in which she sings alongside John Legend. Come with me to listen to it:


In one of the things that I confess I was wrong, was to equate Ella Mai with H.E.R., I understand that they are similar styles and very close ranges of voice and, although they collaborated together in "Gut Feeling", when I analyze separately each one of the songs of both, a more rebellious spirit is noted in the interpretations of Ella, her lyrics are directed to an audience of her age; while the lyrics of the songs of H.E.R. they are more universal and for a wider audience in terms of the age of those who listen to her. But in reality that does not matter, to those who we love music, we appreciate both styles and the two singers have a very special place in our hearts. In conclusion, if this is just the beginning of Ella Mai, imagine what her growth will be in the industry. I am sure that very soon there will be more artists who want to approach her for future collaborations.


As is natural, there are always details for those who listen to the songs that they think could have been improved or polished. In the case of the song "Trip", it seems to me that Ella Mai's interpretation is a bit short with respect to the subject. I have the feeling that she could have allowed herself to let go of the voice a lot more and make it explode in the climax of the song, but they did not consider it convenient and that's it. On the other hand, the song "Easy" is an exquisite composition and a sublime interpretation, I dare say it's perfect. That is the process of growth and learning that I was referring to. An artist with the intelligence and quality of Ella Mai will know how to collect all these experiences to refine her style and define the intensity with which she must handle the voice in each topic. For the rest, let's welcome a warrior who will never give up.

By: Jorge Diaz

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